Toxic Companion


Two days ago, sitting in a lecture but being bored, I was scrolling through my phone until *BAM* the screen starts flickering and goes green and white and I can’t use it anymore. Karma huh? Now to be honest, it didn’t happen out of nowhere - I did drop my phone twice while I was biking in the past days, but it seemed fine until that very moment it started to flicker and dance. Oh well...

I was going to have a project meeting, but I was running late, “Let me message my group mates, oh wait…I don’t have a phone.” Later that day I wanted to show some friends a video from a party, but I couldn’t because of course it was on my phone. The toughest realization was when I realized, I didn’t have my phone to set an alarm! How do I make sure I wake up on time?

These and many more instances during the day made me realize how dependent I am on my phone. I was taking my phone everywhere although it wouldn’t even turn on. I even had it at my table while I was studying but all I could see were white and green flickering lights. Why did I have it there? I am sure I am speaking for many when I say that our dependency on our phones is a little scary and the mini heart attacks we get when we can’t find our phones are a proof for this. In fact, there is a term for this - nomophobia, which is the fear of being without a mobile phone. Nomophobia is clearly a rising issue, especially amongst youngsters/students. From tweets, stories and messages we seem to be so attached to our phones that we feel a void when we don’t have it with us.

Something that really irks me is when I am in a conversation with someone in person and instead of looking at me and listening to my interesting story, scrolling through Instagram and grinning at those posts is what excites them more. This is a highly impolite gesture as it makes me feel like they would rather be somewhere else, with someone else and as a result my excitement drops. Unfortunately, most of us experience this sort of rudeness and lack of responsiveness from our peers. In an age where we are all connected so easily, we are often still left with a sort of loneliness. Isn’t it kind of ironic?

Likes, followers and subscribers have become a sort of measure of “coolness” (whatever that means) amongst youngsters. We compare ourselves to the people around us to such a large extent that we often fall into a trap of not knowing what we want, who we are or what we want to achieve. Social comparison is not a trait that has risen out of nowhere but has been around forever. The concerns are when it comes to social media and people believing that everything that they see is reality. As most of us do know, people only portray their best sides on social media. A selfie at a fancy holiday destination, is probably 1 out of the 50 the person took (and clearly the other 49 were less “pretty” but probably more realistic). As we look for the best lighting conditions, and the perfect angles for our cheekbones to be on fleek, how much of reality are we portraying on social media?

Regardless of whether you are standing in the cafeteria queue or lying in bed unable to sleep, you always have a companion - your mobile phone. Are we trying to run away from reality? Has this “addiction” to our phones made us unable to face reality? How would a day without a phone feel? Unfortunately or fortunately, now I know!

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